I’m looking for a spectacular, amazing book to read. The best book I’ve read this year is, hands down, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I realize it’s a few years old, but I just discovered it so it’s new to me. I usually read mindless romances and I’m perfectly content with those, but I’m truly restless for something that gets me – really socks me in the gut and makes me think/weep/gnash my teeth/pour over the pages. Can anyone recommend some good fiction? What’s the best book you’ve read this year? I come to you, oh wise WP community, because I trust your intelligence and taste, so… help?
Although I’m 93% done (according to my Kindle), I wanted to share what I’m reading at the moment because it’s really affecting me.
This story follows Babe, Grace, and Millie from the World War II years to the mid-60s, and shows how their lives and the lives of those around them were profoundly changed by the war. A connoisseur of WWII-era fiction, this book is different than most of the ones I’ve read because it strips away the romanticism of the period and lays the struggles of those that lived it open for all to see. It focuses on the intense grief over the men who didn’t come home and on those who did make it home, but who came back changed due to PTSD. It tackles heavy topics like as rape, racism, and the post-war role of women, but at its heart, it’s about three women, the men they love, and how the war changed them and the world around them. Oh, and as an added bonus for those of us who thrive on angst, it has a healthy dose of unrequited love, too.
Thanks to my Kindle Fire, which I love more than most of my other possessions put together, I tear through books these days. Between the thousands of free books available on Amazon and the fact that our library is tied into the Overdrive system that lets me check out 12 books at a time, I am in book (and magazine) heaven. The Kindle owns me. I’ve read some pretty fantastic books lately so I figured I would start posting entries about the great books I’m reading.
For my first “What I’m reading right now” entry, here’s my current book:
An excerpt that basically feels like I wrote it myself:
“And, oh my God: I wanted to live in one room with my whole family and have a pathetic corncob doll all my own. I wanted to wear a calico sunbonnet – or rather, I wanted to not wear a calico sunbonnet, the way Laura did, letting it hang down her back by its ties. I wanted to do chores because of those books. Carry water, churn butter, make headcheese. I wanted dead rabbits brought home for supper. I wanted to go out into the backyard and just, I don’t know, grab stuff off trees, or uproot things from the ground, and bring it all inside in a basket and have my parents say, ‘My land! What a harvest!'”
A lifelong love affair with everything having to do with Little House on the Prairie, as well as a vow when made when I was 18 to marry my very own Almanzo Wilder (which only happened if you consider the very urban African-American man I married to be Almanzo-like (he’s not)), makes this book the perfect late summer evening read.